Archive for the ‘Design & Furnishings’ Category

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Touching Base

July 22, 2016

Once again, it has been a while since I posted on my blog. However, I recently posted a lengthy newsletter that includes a recent interior design project that I especially enjoyed working on since it was new construction for some color clients I’ve had for over a decade. Now that they both retired and all of their children are grown, they down-sized into a lovely town home in a private development in Baton Rouge. The Living Room shown below opens into both the Dining Area and Kitchen. To see more photos, check out my latest Living Well Newsletter. This project is towards the end.

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It’s now been a couple of years since we’ve been using the new PPG Paints products and I can’t tell you how pleased with the feedback I’m getting. Both the Pure Performance and Manor Hall are premium products. The Pure Performance is VOC-free and covers exceptionally well. However, I’m thrilled to report that we’re now reformulating our really saturated Bright and Magical Gem colors into the Manor Hall product for these usually hard to cover colors. The “Hot Pink!” for instance, almost covers in one coat (in the old Lifemaster, it took 3-4 coats!). Now, we’re talking two coats, tops!

I’m also creating new colors almost weekly and there are some great ones so be sure to check the drop down color lists and if there are colors you don’t recognize that aren’t in your sets, please don’t hesitate to email me to find out more about them. Also, I usually post photos of the samples on my Facebook page. Two new ones you might like are full spectrum versions of Farrow & Ball colors I was asked to make: “Middleton Pink” (we kept the same name for now) and our “Verdant” is their discontinued “Chappell Green”. Both photos of the same sample below show how much the color shifts from green to blue.

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The same “Verdant” sample above and below shifts with the light.

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The samples below are of two new colors. The top one is “Kelly Green” and the bottom two are the same exact color sample (“Castle Piano Rm Green”) but with different lighting. These colors were created for artist Hunt Slonem’s 102,000 sq.ft. Castle in Scranton.

New Greens

Although these colors were initially created for special clients, these paint colors may be ordered by anyone and we’re having one of our “Blog Sales” so be sure to input the word “blog” in the discount box at checkout when you order online.  While you’re there, check out the fabrics and wallpaper that can now be ordered online. There are always discounts, but you need to email me with the quantity so I can give you the secret discount code!

I hope you’re having a swell (not sweltering) Summer!

smEllensig

 

 

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Well Priced But Not Cheap!

June 16, 2016

Let’s talk money. Not something I like to talk about unless I’m sharing “a good deal”.  And actually, that’s just what I’m going to do. The other day I was in Helm Paint in New Orleans working on a custom color for a client whose painter would only use Fine Paints of Europe’s Brilliant Gloss, which by the way, is going for $148 a gallon. But what was enlightening, was Helm Paint’s big price menu posted behind the counter: Ben Moore’s Aura @ $72.95 a gallon & Satin Impervo @ $69.95 a gallon. I’m often asked by designers to make full spectrum formulas of Farrow & Ball colors that sell for $95 a gallon – not because they love the product or because my paint is less expensive and easier to get, but because they want the full spectrum color without the black pigment.

When I started my line of Full Spectrum Paints back in June 2001, my original intent was to provide local customers with affordable, beautiful full spectrum color. At the time, there was only access to Donald Kaufman paints which were not only over $100 a gallon but also very hard to get down here in Louisiana. Since then, the company who manufactures my paints has been bought out twice, most recently by PPG Paints. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with PPG Paints’ products and customer service. The price of my paints range from $58 – $69 a gallon and with the new formulas, contain up to 12 voc-free pigments. I’ve also created a few custom colors in PPG’s 7-Line Interior/Exterior Industrial Gloss which is every bit as beautiful as Fine Paints’ Brilliant Gloss. When I compared the samples we painted of each product, you could not tell the difference in finish and considering PPG Paints claims you can use 7-Line on floors and machinery, I’d say it’s just as durable, if not more durable!

For over a year now, we’ve been using Pure Performance ($58-63/gal.) interior and Manor Hall ($67-69/gal.) interior and exterior products and have been getting great reviews from customers AND their painters. Both have built in primers and the Manor Hall also has a stain repellent.

Since the Hunt Slonem Antebellum Pop exhibit opened, I’ve had a flurry of inquiries about his fabrics and wallpapers, so everything in his collection is now available for ordering on my online store in addition to some of my favorite fabrics that I often use in my decorating projects. I plan to continue adding more fabrics, wallpapers and eventually, upholstered furniture. I offer discounts on all fabrics and wallpaper, ranging from 10 – 20%, depending on quantity. Here’s the link:  Ellen’s Favorite Fabrics & Wallpaper

Navy Hutch tablescape

My favorite Hunt Slonem fabric is the “Hutch” linen which also comes in orange, pink, black, red & turquoise. Here the Navy is shown in this tablescape by David Duncan Antiques photographed by Marco Ricca, the photographer who photographed Hunt’s latest book, When Art Meets Design.

My favorite wallpaper?  The “Bunny Wall” that we used in the LSUMOA Hunt Slonem Antebellum Pop exhibit which is up through August 5th. I’ll be giving a Gallery Talk and Tour on Sunday, July 10th @ 2:00. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us!

Bunny Wall_edited

The “Bunny Wall” wallpaper comes in two sizes. This size is 54″ wide and comes in ivory or black backgrounds. There is a “Small Bunny Wall” for smaller spaces that is the normal 27″ wide paper and also comes in blue and and orange/red. (We hung bunny paintings on the bunny paper so it’s not 3-D!)

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Antebellum Pop!

April 4, 2016

I’ve been having such a good time working with curator Dr. Sarah Clunis and the team at the LSU Museum of Art on the upcoming Hunt Slonem exhibit I just realized I haven’t posted in months! If you live in the area, you won’t want to miss this unique exhibit that’s already started getting quite the buzz. Here’s a link to a blurb in last Saturday’s Page Six of the NY Post:

http://pagesix.com/2016/04/01/louisiana-pop-show-features-hunt-slonem-work

The exhibit opens Thursday, April 21st with a talk by Hunt Slonem at 6:00 followed by a reception from 7:00 until 8:30. As you’ll note from a copy of the invitation below, you do not have to be a museum member to attend. In addition to the opening reception, there are several other programs and lectures over the course of the exhibit, including a Gallery Talk with me on July 10th.

POP Invite

Antebellum Pop! will intermix his paintings from the 1980s to the present with decorative art and furniture chosen by Slonem from the LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection, M.S. Rau Antiques, and his two Louisiana Plantation homes. This exhibit will bring together his work in painting with his work in architecture, interior decor and decoration. Here’s a sneak peak:

Bunny Wall

“Bunny Wall” in foreground and “Hutch” wallpaper in what will become a dining room behind it. Images taken from Slonem’s paintings are now available in wallpaper and fabrics by Groundworks for Lee Jofa. Photo taken by paperhanger Clay Fairbanks.

eAntebellum Violet

“Antebellum Violet” in the foreground was created especially for the exhibit. “Watermelon Red”, “Lakeside Napoleon” & “Juliet’s Potion” (L>R) are from my Full Spectrum Paints Brights Palette. Many thanks go to PPG Paints who donated all of the paint for the exhibit!

Juliet's Potion

“Juliet’s Potion” in the foreground with my new “Sacre Blue” teal in the background.

Hutch Gold

Slonem’s “Hutch” wallpaper in what will be transformed into a dining room with that 30′ $448,500 dining table mentioned in the Page Six article! Photo taken by paperhanger Clay Fairbanks.

The exhibit stays up until August 5th. A trip to the LSU Museum of Art with its newly installed permanent collection is well worth a trip, no matter how far away!

The Hunt Slonem wallpaper, fabrics and rugs are available through Ellen Kennon Design, Furnishings & Full Spectrum Paints. Please email me directly for more information. ellen@ellenkennon.com.

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TBT – Revisiting Old Design Projects

July 17, 2014

It’s another Throwback Thursday so I thought I’d share one of my most successful design projects, Shadetree Inn in St. Francisville, LA. I say it’s successful because my daughter’s Dad and former husband Kenwood Kennon no longer has to practice law for a living. He tells everyone he’s in “the romance business”. It also happens to be ranked #1 with 5 stars on Trip Advisor.

It all started back in 1993, shortly after our daughter Alexandra was born, when we decided to turn the upstairs of Shadetree Antiques where Kenwood lived before we were married, into our first B&B suite, The Loft. Within the first year, it was written up in Southern Living Magazine in their article “Eden in Louisiana“.

The Loft already had Adirondack charm with its Louisiana red heart cypress walls & ceiling, so we just added a wet-bar and an outdoor stair & balcony entrance and furnished it with rustic willow furniture.

The Loft already had Adirondack-style charm with its Louisiana red heart cypress walls & ceiling, so we just added a wet-bar and an outdoor stair & balcony entrance and furnished it with rustic willow furniture.

The Loft was booked every weekend, so we decided to turn an unfinished building on the property into what is now the Gardener’s Cottage.

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The Gardener’s Cottage is nestled between a wonderful old cypress tree and the Shadetree Garden.

While we were building the Gardener’s Cottage, a friend said “you should turn the whole place into a B&B!” so with a little thought, we realized that to create another suite, all we had to do was close off a couple of doors to the shop, add a wall and wet-bar to close off part of the glassed-in front porch, and voila–The Sun Porch was born! I’m most proud to report that thanks to having a shop filled with furnishings and accessories, we were able to build, renovate, and completely furnish each suite for very little money. The Loft for $5,500, The Gardener’s Cottage, which included new construction of a living room, bathroom and porch, for $25,000 and The Sun Porch for $10,000.

ST SP Bath Web

The Sun Porch bathroom is the original shop bathroom. We just added a jacuzzi for two and had artist Nancy Buras Rothschild paint the walls to feel like you’re outdoors.

At the time, I had recently moved back down to Louisiana from Manhattan and was disillusioned with the field of interior design. I felt it was materialism at its worst (back in the eighties in NYC, mind you). After spending so much time in nature and immersing myself in new age books on color and healing, I focused my energy on creating spaces at Shadetree that would enhance their connection to nature and nurture the energy of love. After all, love is what life is all about, right? The Guest Journals were so profuse with glowing comments about how wonderful the spaces made them feel, that I began to look at being an interior designer with new eyes. I realized that it wasn’t at all about material things, it was all about the energy that you create in a space. “Magical” and “healing”, words used so often in the guests’ comments that my design career was reborn and I created a new brochure for myself with a collage of guest comments on the cover:

"Magical" and "healing" were the two words used throughout the Guest Journals.

“Magical” and “healing” were the two words used throughout the Guest Journals.

So here we are 21 years later and Shadetree not only books weekends in advance, but weekdays are also heavily booked. (To reserve, call Kenwood at 225-635-6116 or email shadetreeinn@aol.com. We do get cancellations, so follow Shadetree on Facebook for the latest on cancellations.)

I am finishing up another project that will also be available for rent here in West Feliciana Parish within a few weeks. Named “The Bridge”, I have to say, it, too, will be quite magical! I’ll post photos very soon!

In the meantime, if I can help you create some magic in your spaces, email me!

 

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The Last Word on the 2013 Color of the Year (& other news)

December 6, 2012

In my Autumn Living Well Newsletter on the 2013 Color of the Year & Color Trends, I reported on predictions of next year’s color of the year by pretty much everyone but Pantone. Although it was looking like “Monaco Blue” would be Pantone’s pick, they just announced that “Emerald” was their pick for 2013.

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(“Emerald” in the center is Pantone’s pick for 2013’s Color of the Year)

Interesting that it is very close to Pratt & Lambert’s “Tidal Pool” which was their pick for the 2013 color to watch, a dead ringer for our Full Spectrum “Albania Teal”, that appeared in the October issue of House Beautiful. Here’s a photo of Albania Teal in artist Hunt Slonem‘s NYC studio featured in Russia’s Architectural Digest Magazine (I didn’t even know they had an Architectural Digest!). “Albania Teal” was named after one of his plantation’s in Louisiana. The great thing about this color is that it is both soothing and rejuvenating at the same time.Image

I have to say, I’m still selling a lot more whites and complex neutrals, than the saturated colors predicted. We mostly use the more neutral, easy to live with colors, in main areas and save the jewel tones for jewel box spaces like powder rooms, closets, inside of cabinets and bookcases.

Speaking of whites, one of my biggest “JV Cloud White” (JV for Designer Jon Vaccari & created for his New Orleans showroom) fans, Karina Gentinetta, has been making quite a name for herself on the national scene and will appear on More Magazine‘s television special about women who reinvent themselves (Karina was an attorney for 13 years before becoming an antiques dealer, artist and interior decorator). After seeing this video of her segment, I’m thinking she needs to have her own TV show! (Karina used “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs Showroom and Annunciation Restaurant in New Orleans which you’ll see in the video.)

(Click here to watch Karina’s More Magazine segment

I’m currently working on my Winter Living Well Newsletter featuring one of Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet‘s latest projects, where he had another designer friend of mine (Ken Tibbils of St. Francisville) make this table:

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(I have featured Marc’s projects often over the years. and this latest project showcases his amazing design versatility. Wait until you see the rest of the photos!)

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New Orleans’ New Restaurant “Annunciation” – Heavenly!

August 8, 2012

I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Annunciation, a fabulous new restaurant in New Orleans. I mentioned it in my May 19, 2012 blog post “JV Cloud White Gets Around” and was finally able to dine there last week when I was in town. Located at 1016 Annunciation in the Warehouse District, it’s owned by the former chef of Clancy’s and the former general manager of  Tommy’s Cuisine, so not only is the food and service amazing; the decor by Karina Gentinetta is heavenly!

Karina recently used our “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs NYC showroom and liked it so much, she specified it for every painted surface in the restaurant. The building has loads of charm with old brick and plaster walls, exposed wood ceilings and beautiful arched doors and windows that she wanted to highlight, yet make the overall feeling elegant and classic. Known for being a magician when it comes to working within a tight budget, Karina kept things simple with bentwood chairs and schoolhouse pendent lighting from Home Depot. My dinner companion, Isabel Winsberg, raved the entire time about how wonderful the space felt. But that certainly wasn’t the best part! The food was incredible! As we often do, we shared everything so we could taste a number of things on the menu: Fried Oysters with melted Brie and sautéed Spinach, Eggplant Ste. Marguerite, Crabmeat salad with Creme Fraiche and Choupique Caviar, Crabmeat, Lobster and Shrimp Risotto, Cauliflower au Gratin and for dessert, Butterscotch Budino (an Italian pudding topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream sprinkled with sea salt). Every single item was amazing–a word I couldn’t quit using to describe each course. Oh, and you’d think this might have set us back a bit, but our bill (sans wine) was $83! I can hardly wait to go back and am still dreaming about that dessert!

Annunciation Restaurant on Urbanspoon (click image to the left for contact info, more reviews and menu)

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It’s a Mighty Long Way from Peter Marino Architect to St. Francisville!

June 20, 2012

Last week a video crew from NYC came to St. Francisville to interview one of our newest residents, writer Rod Dreher. Rod just landed a column with the BBC, so they came down to shoot a video of him and the St. Francisville area in conjunction with his first column. I can’t help but reflect on what a different life I am living, compared to my first year in Manhattan where I was honored to work for the great Peter Marino whose projects include some of the most opulent residences in New York.

I didn’t even know who Peter was (a friend suggested I send him my resume’) until I was sitting in his office waiting for an interview. His secretary handed me a copy of the latest House & Garden Magazine with an article about Peter’s project for Christopher Whittle in the Dakota. The first line of the article was ” ‘Peter Marino‘  Marie-Helene de Rothschild was heard to reply when asked by a dinner companion to name the most sought-after architect/interior designer on the international axis.”  The article went on to not only showcase Whittle’s apartment, but talked about all of the custom furnishings. . . upholstery made by a tapissier in Paris, the silk fabric made in Lyon, museum quality antiques. . . Needless to say, I was bowled over!

On my first day, Peter sent another new employee and I to see the Whittle project which was even more stunning in person.

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Whittle’s Edwardian Apartment in the Dakota

I learned more in that one year from this incredibly talented and brilliant man (he was often on the phone speaking Italian, German, French. . . ) than I’ve learned about design in my entire 30 year career. What a surprise it has been to see his personal transformation from this somewhat thin man wearing bow ties, button-down collar shirts and pleated pants, to this muscular black leather-clad powerhouse!

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From Bow-ties to Black Leather, Peter Marino today.

 Here’s a link to the article on Peter that goes with the above photo that appeared in last January’s issue of Architectural Digest that’s now online:  AD: Peter Marino’s Edgy Style

Needless to say, I was exposed to some of the finest interiors in New York and my first project for him was completing the punch list for the new (back in the eighties, mind you) Barney’s women’s store. I spent the first two weeks drooling with mouth agape most of the time. However, as the year went on, I found myself constantly saying how much nicer my clients were down South than the ones I had to work with in Manhattan. So that brings me back to the video that was shot just last week on Rod Dreher and St. Francisville. The opening photo is of the front of Shadetree Inn where we paint samples, pour jars and handle all things related to paint samples and shipping. Kenwood (my former husband, daughter’s Dad and still family) and our dog Rosie are also featured. Be sure to read Rod’s interesting article on the War of 1812!     

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Link to video & article: BBC News: West Florida Republic: The birth of US Imperialism

On another note, my office (where I handle the business part of my company) was featured again on Houzz.com in this article on Dutch beds: houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/26699/Loft-Home-Office-Guest-Bedroom-eclectic-home-office-new-orleans